How Does the eBags Professional Weekender Compare to Other Travel Backpacks?

Another member of the eBags TLS family is the Professional Weekender. Whereas the TLS Mother Lode Weekender is large, and the Slim Laptop Backpack is small(ish), the Professional Weekender is the happy medium. Or is it? Like with most other travel backpacks, the issue isn’t that it may not be big enough, but that it’s possibly too big. While there is no doubt that all of these bags can carry an impressive amount of items, it’s still unclear which backpack has the happy medium between big enough, but not unnecessarily big.

To help clear up the confusion, I’ve broken down how the eBags Professional Weekender performs against the other two eBags backpacks I’ve covered: the Slim Laptop Backpack and the Mother Lode Weekender.

Each of the three backpacks serves a different purpose for different needs. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of what backpack is better suited for you.

eBags Professional Weekender: Specifications and Features of the Backpack

Combining a laptop and travel backpack, Professional Weekender is built to keep both your clothes and electronics organized. The sleek profile of the Weekender sets it apart from a typical travel backpack, giving you a more professional look.

Specifications of the eBags Professional Weekender

Dimensions: 21″ x 14″ x 8″

Material: 840D & 900D Twisted Poly

Price: $199

Laptop Compartment: Designed to fit 2”  x 12.5″ W x 14″ to 18” H

Tablet Compartment: Designed to fit 9” H x 10.5” W

Includes a 3.5″ x 13.25″ x 20″ Clothing Compartment

Fits Up to 3 days worth of clothing

Padded Shoulder and Back Panel, Including Sternum Strap

Design and Organization of the Weekender

Design wise, the Professional Weekender looks very similar to the Professional Slim Laptop Backpack. It also shares a lot of the same organizational features of the Professional Slim Laptop Backpack, including the following.

AC Adaptor Garage In the Bottom Backside of the Backpack

This hard shell, removable pocket helps keep your valuable items from getting crushed under the weight of your contents. This is the perfect place to keep your fragile belongings safe, or to keep things organized. You could pack your cables, cords, plugs, a mouse, headphones, and the like. And since the AC adaptor is towards the bottom of your back, it provides additional lumbar support.

Front Panel Organizer

On the front face of the backpack, there’s a double zippered U-Zip panel organizer that keeps your smaller items easy to find. Instead of a typical drop pocket, here you have a 2-Dimensional design pocket system, where everything is flat; this reduces the need to have to dig around to find something.

Zippered mesh pockets allow you to see items from the outside, and larger zippered pockets are great for keeping your items from slipping out. There are also your basic pen holders and business card pockets for optimal organization.

Hidden Tablet Zip Opening

Right above the front panel organizer is a tablet zip pocket, so that allows you to easily slide a tablet inside. The space in this pocket is rather generous, you could fit a small article of clothing, an extra bag, or some type of snack in here.

Trolley Handle Pass-Through Panel

If you travel with rolling luggage, and you want to give your back a break, you can easily slide your Professional Weekender over the handles of your luggage. This is especially convenient if you are traveling with a carry-on suitcase, and want to more easily navigate around the airport.

Zip-Up Water Bottle Pocket

In keeping with the professional design of the backpack, the Professional Weekender comes with a hidden water bottle pocket that zips closed when not used. It’s perfect for maintaining a low-key profile.   

Unique Features of the Professional Weekender

There are some added features and compartments to the Professional Weekender that makes it unique from the Slim Laptop Backpack.

3-1-1 Liquids Pocket (Including a Mesh Bag)

In the bottom front of the backpack is a U-Zip pocket and inside is a mesh bag, which is included with the pack. In here, you could put all your liquids of 3.4 oz or less. The convenient exterior pocket makes it easy to take out at TSA checkpoint.

Large U-Zip Opening to Main Compartment

As far as packing space goes, the Professional Weekender delivers with a 3.5″ x 13.25″ x 20” main compartment. The U-Zip opening lays the bag flat, but the zip covers over the clothing maintains your privacy.

You can easily pack up to 2-3 days worth of clothing using packing cubes and rolling your clothes. If you’re not using the AC adaptor garage, you can use that pocket for clothing as well. Another way to pack more is to use the laptop compartment space to pack clothes, although this will require you to take out your laptop for individual screening.

Isolated Laptop Compartment, TSA Approved

The laptop compartment of the eBags Professional Weekender is unique because it opens up all the way, allowing you to simply slide the bag under the scanners without having to remove it. And you can fit up to an 18” laptop if you remove the AC adaptor at the bottom of the backpack.

Do You Need the Professional Weekender Backpack for Your Travel Needs?

As I said in the beginning, the Professional Weekender is meant to be the happy medium between a big, heavy travel backpack and a small organized laptop backpack. The Professional Weekender takes all of the good features of the Slim Professional, and simply adds the additional packing space that you need for a weekends worth of clothes.

However, what you should be thinking about now is if you really need the Professional Weekender. And this answer depends on what your travel needs are. You need to take into consideration, for instance, what other bags you’ll be traveling with. Because if you plan to travel with a rolling carry-on and a travel backpack, you may not need a big backpack.

But if you think you may need one of the eBags as your travel backpack, here’s some helpful information to help you make a decision.

What’s the Difference Between the eBags Mother Lode Weekender Convertible and the Professional Weekender?

Compared to the Professional Weekender, here’s what you need to know about the TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible:

  • The Mother Lode will NOT fit under the front seat; it can count as your carry-on
  • Of the three backpacks mentioned, the Mother Lode Weekender is the largest in size and capacity
  • Suited for anyone who’s backpacking or hiking. Not recommended for someone looking for a professional backpack.

What’s the Difference Between the eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack and the Professional Weekender?

Compared to the Professional Weekender, here’s what you should know about the Professional Slim Laptop Backpack:

  • The Slim Laptop Backpack is a bit smaller than the Professional Weekender, although the size difference between both bags isn’t that obvious.
  • The Professional Slim Laptop Backpack DOES fit under the front seat, with limited leg room.
  • Of the three backpacks mentioned, the Slim Laptop Backpack is the smallest in size.
  • Suited both for travel and daily use. Not meant for solo backpacking trips longer than 2 days.

Is the Professional Weekender Too Big to be Considered a Personal Item for a Flight?

The Professional Weekender is slightly bigger than the Slim Laptop Backpack, so it can count as a personal item. Most people who’ve traveled with it haven’t been asked to check it. As long as you don’t over pack it, and it can manage to fit under your seat, you should be okay.

How Does the Professional Weekender Fit Underneath the Seat in Front of You?

The good news is that it does fit under the front seat. But because it’s bigger than the Slim Laptop Backpack, it’s going to be a tighter fit. As long as you don’t over pack the Professional Weekender, you can slide it in long ways or sideways and still have 3 inches of room between the backpack and the bottom of the seat.

Is There Some Leg Room With One of These Backpacks Under the Seat In Front?

The only trade off of having either the Slim Laptop Backpack or the Professional Weekender is that you have limited to no leg room. Now, if you’re only on a 2-4 hour flight, this is bearable. But if you’re on an international flight for 8-14 hours, this can get uncomfortable. If you are traveling with an additional carry-on, I recommend carrying a smaller personal item. Maybe just a laptop case, a purse, or small backpack.

The Final Verdict of the eBags Professional Weekender

If you tend to travel with a rolling carry-on, the eBags Professional Weekender may be too big for you. You may be better off with the Slim Laptop version or another even smaller backpack as your personal item that can also be used daily. But if you’re traveling for a weekend with only a backpack, the Weekender is a great choice and you can fit it over head if you want that leg room.

2 comments On How Does the eBags Professional Weekender Compare to Other Travel Backpacks?

  • THANK YOU! I have been searching high and low for a good breakdown of the differences between the Mother Lode, Weekender, and Slim bags. eBags should have this post linked on their own site!

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